HP HC | Bail refused on grounds of contraband being of commercial quantity under S. 20 of NDPS Act

Himachal Pradesh High Court: Chander Bhusan Barowalia, J. dismissed the petition on the merits of the case.

The facts of the case are that on 22-08-2019 a police team laid a nakka at Una to Mehatpur Road and apprehended a Tata Safari in which the driver and a female namely Mahinder Singh Patiyal  and Neelam were caught with 11 bags of white cement but could not give any satisfactory reply. Police on further search found cannabis weighing 2.630 grams covered in an iron sheet inside a bag hidden under the reserve tyre. A mobile phone along with currency notes amounting to Rs 92,820 were also recovered. Mahinder Singh Patiyal and the female petitioner were arrested. It was revealed to the police that many cases under NDPS Act and Excise Act have been registered against accused Mahinder Singh Patiyal and in one of the case he has been convicted and a case under Sections 498A and 504 IPC read with Section 34 IPC has also been registered against him. The present petition has been filed for grant of bail by the female apprehended namely Neelam.

The counsel N.K. Thakur and Divya Raj Singh representing the petitioners argued that the petitioner has been falsely implicated in the present case. It was further argued that the petitioner is permanent resident of District Mandi, Himachal Pradesh and neither in a position to tamper with the prosecution evidence nor in a position to flee from justice.

The counsel S.C. Sharma, P.K. Bhatti and Kamal Kishore representing the respondents stated that the petitioner was found involved in a serious offence, huge quantity of charas was recovered from the joint possession of the petitioner and co-accused Mahinder Singh Patiyal and the case being at initial stage she may tamper with the prosecution evidence and may also flee from justice.

High Court on hearing the arguments on both sides observed that considering the quantity of recovered contraband, i.e., 2 kgs 630 grams, which is a commercial quantity and the manner in which it was concealed in the vehicle rules out the possibility that the petitioner was unaware about the recovered contraband. The Court further stated that as the trial is in the initial stage of investigation, petitioner has the opportunity to tamper with evidence and flee from justice.

In view of the above facts and arguments, the instant petition is dismissed and bail refused. [Neelam v. State of Himachal Pradesh, 2020 SCC OnLine HP 937 , decided on 10-07-2020]

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